Friday, March 23, 2018

Panda Dim Sum

Panda Dim Sum is known for their animal and character steamed buns. They are located inside the Chinatown Market Place at City Square Shopping Center in Dillingham. The animals/characters are different every day and I recommend going before 10am for the best selection. You can buy the buns as is or have them steamed and ready to eat right there; it takes about 10 minutes to steam. All the fillings inside the buns are sweet; they have custard, red bean paste, sweet potato paste, lotus paste, and chestnut paste. The fillings aren't overly sweet, and the buns are moist and soft. They are 2 for $3.50. If you're not interested in the steam buns, they have other dim sum items like white rice cake, jin dui, and mochi rice. This might be a cash only place since they're a tiny shop. 

Chinatown Market Place
1199 Dillingham Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 429-2018

Panda Buns

Piggy Buns

Minion Buns

Angry Bird & Doraemon Buns

Friday, March 9, 2018

Opal Thai

Opal Thai has moved to Chinatown; they used to be in Haleiwa. At Opal Thai, there is a menu, but you don't get to order off of it when you dine in. The chef goes to your table, greets you, learns a little about you and your group and then finds out what you like/dislike to eat, spice level, and your allergies. He then creates a bunch of dishes for your table. Throughout the meal, the wait staff and chef will check in to make sure everything is going well, and the food is tasting good. They don't tell you what you're eating until the end of the meal. My favorite was the crab noodles. It was like eating pad thai but better because the noodles were thinner and there was less sauce. I recommend coming with people who are open to trying new things and are not picky eaters. For 2 appetizers and 2 entrees, my share came out to be $25 (gratuity not included) which is reasonable. I left full, but my mouth was slightly on fire. Overall, I enjoyed it and I would go back for more.

They are open for lunch and dinner. I recommend making reservations a few days in advance because it gets busy. They have take-out if you want to order straight from the menu and skip out on this dining experience. For parking, there is metered street parking (free after 6pm) and the parking garage in Marin Tower.

For more information about Opal Thai, visit

1030 Smith St., Ste 6
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 381-8091

Spicy Glazed Garlic Chicken Wings

Special Rice Cake (half order)

Crab Noodles

Basil Chili Garlic Chicken w/ Jasmine Rice & Fried Egg

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Nana's Green Tea

Nana's Green Tea is known for their green tea soft serve. They have a big menu with a lot of options, but I recommend the standard green tea ice cream inside a cone. The parfaits look amazing but it was hard to eat, and I thought it needed to be sweeter. It's layered with coffee jelly, corn flakes, mochi balls, azuki paste, and soft serve. The desserts go from $6 to $11 and the drinks are from $5 to $7. The parfaits are big enough to share with 2 people. 

They are located in the Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley which is on the basement level of the Waikiki Shopping Plaza. They do offer parking but I'm not sure where the parking garage is. Whenever I'm in Waikiki, I either park at Royal Hawaiian Center or International Marketplace because I get validation from making a purchase from one of those businesses.

Waikiki Shopping Plaza
2250 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 777-3550

Matcha Vanilla Swirl Ice cream

Hoji Shiratama Parfait

Soft Cream Anmitsu

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


O'Kim's is a hidden gem in Chinatown. It's a tiny shop that serves up delicious Korean take out. The food is good and the monthly specials keep me coming back for more. My favorites are the kalbi steak and seaweed salmon. The prices range from $12 - $15 but they give a good amount of food. They are open for lunch and dinner.

For parking, there's metered street parking or the Chinatown municipal parking lots. As I mentioned before, it is a tiny shop so there's nowhere to sit and eat. They accept phone orders so you could order in advance and pull over on the side to pick up your food. They accept credit cards.

For more information about O'Kims, visit

1164 Smith St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 537-3787

Kalbi Steak

Confit Pork Belly Brulee

Seaweed Salmon

Spicy Tofu & Mushrooms

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Katsumidori Sushi

Katsumidori is a Japanese restaurant that offers reasonably priced sushi. They are generous with the cuts of fish in the nigiri. The interior is spacious and well designed. There is a sushi bar on 1 side and regular tables on the other side. Their menu has pictures so ordering is easy. If you sit at the table, you can order through the tablet or with the waiter. My favorites were the Yokozuna because you get an assortment of sushi and the assorted seared sushi.

The restaurant is located inside the Prince Waikiki on the ground floor. They are open for lunch and dinner. I recommend making reservations in advance because they are busy. You can get validation if you park in the Prince Waikiki parking garage; it's $4.

Prince Waikiki
100 Holomoana St
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 946-7603

Tamago Nigiri & Salmon Nigiri

Scallop Carpaccio


Avocado Tempura

Assorted Seared Sushi

Monday, January 1, 2018


Basalt is located in Waikiki. It is inside the Dukes Lane Market and Eatery. The interior has a bar along with tables around it. They also have exterior seating with live music during dinner. Most of the menu consist of seafood. My favorite dish was the charred tako because the tako was tender. I also enjoyed their complimentary charcoal bread. The prices are high but they give a good portion. I recommend doing family style so you can try a little bit of everything. If you're on a budget, you can try their happy hour which runs daily from 3pm-6pm.

The restaurant is big so no reservation is necessary. If you're visiting from out of town, take the exterior seating for dinner so you can dine with some live music. The parking validation is for 4 hours if you parking in their lot on Seaside Ave.

Dukes Lane Market & Eatery
2255 Kuhio Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 923-5689

Charred Tako

Duck Bao Buns

Lobster Risotto

Local Prawns w/ House-made Pasta

Black Sesame Panna Cotta